Happy birthday Mark Rypien. Mark played 8 seasons with the Redskins from 1986-1993. After sitting out the 86-87 seasons on the injured list, Mark finally got his chance to play in 88’ and played well…throwing 18 TD’s in 9 games (only 6 starts.) Mark had a Pro Bowl season in 89’ when he threw for 3,768 yards and 22 TD’s as well, but things really came together for Mark and the Redskins during the 91’ season. The 91’ Skins were one of the greatest teams in the history of the NFL and Mark was the MVP of the team. He passed for 28 TD’s and 3,564 yards on the way to his Super Bowl MVP performance. Mark’s 91’ stats would have been even more impressive had the Redskins not won 12 games by more than 13 points. Mark ranks among the top 5 all time in most of the Redskins passing records. Mark also had an impressive 45-27 record as a starter in DC.
Mark went thru something I could never imagine as a parent of a young child, he lost his son Andrew to cancer at the age of three. Since retiring from the NFL in 2001 (when Mark spent the season backing up Peyton Manning) Mark has devoted his life to the Rypien foundation. His foundation is devoted to help families who have children fighting cancer. I recall watching a game later in Mark’s career when he played for the Rams. He happened to be playing the Redskins that day, and he played the game with a shaved head…as a sign of support for his son Andrew. Mark played well, throwing for 347 yards in a losing cause. I remember feeling inspired by him that day…even more so than that wonderful 91’ season.
My 4-year-old son was sick with a flu like virus last week and it broke my heart as he vomited and felt terrible for 48 hours. He’d ask if the ginger ale would make his tummy all better…like immediately better, and I felt helpless to try and help him. He’s all better now, but many children are not. My son has a little friend in his class named Stevie who has attended pre-school with my son for the past 2 years. Stevie went to the hospital a couple weeks ago with pain in his shoulder. The doctors originally thought he had an infection, but the test came back that Stevie has cancer. Stevie is now in the hospital receiving chemo and fighting this horrible disease. We need to find a cure for this disease, please donate your time or hard earned money to get us closer.
As a fan of the Redskins, Mark will always have a place in my heart. I appreciate his effort on the field and will never forget playing catch with him one beautiful day long ago at old Redskin’s Park. Happy 47th Mr. Rypien.
Happy birthday Alvin Garrett. Alvin played 4 season from 1981-84’. Alvin’s stats from that time are not too impressive; he only caught 27 balls for 343 yards and 1 TD in 31 games. But, Alvin had an amazing run in the 82’ playoffs filling in for an injured Art Monk. In 4 playoff games that year Alvin had 15 catches for 242 yards and 5 TD’s plus 3 carries for another 46 yards. Alvin was also well known for Howard Cosell’s famous call on Monday night football. Happy 53rd Mr. Garrett.
Cheers and Hail